Police Defend Action Taken Against Disorderly Festivalgoers in July ({{commentsTotal}})

An incident where a police dog was used in responding to a disturbance at the Kultuuritolm art and music festival has been receiving scrutiny in the media, fueled by several short videos where police are seen subduing one or more people, possibly lying on the ground.

The festival was held at Patarei sea fortress in Tallinn for the fifth time on July 11 and 12.

The private security company Dussmann, which was handling security at the event, called for police backup at about 3:30 in the morning early on the festival Saturday.

The exact timeline of events is unclear. Witnesses said a canister of spray or gas and a service dog were also used.

The videos were obtained by TV3 and reposted in several publications.

The police maintain the videos provide a misleading and confused glimpse of a longer standoff, and say they acted appropriately. They said the two men, 25 and 28, were intoxicated and behaving aggressively.

In recent days, the police have painstakingly explained procedures for resolving disturbances at public events and emphasized that rules were followed.

The head of the security tactics and unit dispatch in the North Prefecture, Jaak Kiviste, told the Eesti Päevaleht daily that the ideal model for response is that the police arrive at the scene, draws the suspected offender's attention to the fact that they are creating a disturbance, and to end the disturbance. If a warning is ignored, the police use force, he said.